Thursday, 5 March 2009

1982 Nicole: A Little Peace

As pre-warned, completing 1982's trio of Teutonic chart toppers comes Nicole Hohloch with 'A Little Peace'.

"A little sunshine, a sea of gladness
To wash away all the tears of sadness
A little hoping, a little praying,
For our tomorrow, a little peace"

It's not Christmas, so with a chorus like that it can only mean one thing - Eurovision. Sure enough, 'A Little Peace' won the Eurovision Song Contest that year for Germany, which was not only a first (and last to date) for the country, it also won by a record sixty one points.

'A Little Peace' is a gentle, mandolin led balladic plea for world peace that is essentially 'Imagine' lite. Or even - whisper it - 'Imagine' without the pretension. In tone and style it's almost a song out of time, sounding more like a Continental hit from the late sixties than the eighties (you could easily imagine Francois Hardy or a young Marianne Faithful singing this) and the natural sound and 'proper' instruments are nothing if not refreshing in the context of what was in the chart around it.

Sure it has the 'stigma' of Eurovision all over it which has damned it in the eyes of posterity, but I'm sure that in a blind taste test where such prejudices didn't apply then more people would be charmed by it than not, especially if they saw the endearing image of
eighteen year old Nicole performing it like a rabbit caught in a juggernaut's headlights on Top Of The Pops.

What spoils the party here is that, being originally written in German, the English verses get lost in translation somewhat - Nicole tries her hardest to make the chorus scan properly, but it just doesn't, and I can only assume that clodhopping lyrics like:

"I feel I'm a leaf in the mound on the snow

I fell to the ground, there was no-one below"

were rather more poetic in their native tongue.

'A Little Peace' was a one hit wonder for Nicole and she never had another UK chart entry. And one last point of trivia in an entry riddled with trivia, 'A Little Peace' was the 500th UK number one.

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